NASA, NASA cockroaches, NASA moon cockroaches

Dead cowards that eat the dust of the Moon are put up for auction. Then NASA protested

Unanswered questions fill the universe: Are there infinite universe? Why anything? How much would one pay for a whole month’s dust?

In that mystery, mankind was on the verge of collapse this month. Then NASA’s lawyers intervened.

Three insects were put up for auction online – along with the moon dust that was fed as part of a 1969 experiment to see the effects of lunar objects on earth’s life.

Bidding for the auction, dubbed the “Apollo 11 Rare”, began on May 25 and reached $ 40,000, says Bobby Livingston, vice-president of RR Auction, which specializes in selling historical and local monuments.

Prices were expected to rise sharply at a live auction Thursday at a hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but company officials withdrew it after NASA said the tests were institutionalized.

In a letter dated June 15, the organization called the sale of goods “illegal and illegal” and stated that “no person, university or other entity has ever been granted permission” to store samples of Apollo equipment. NASA also sought the assistance of an auctioneer by identifying the owner of the site.

So what is a respected space agency, with an annual budget of $ 24 billion, that may be looking for a few dead insects, the contents of which, and a few dots of moonlight? A NASA spokesman declined to comment, saying this was an ongoing legal issue, but a 2018 study from the agency’s inspector general provides some insight.

The agency has lost “a significant amount” of its assets due to “lack of adequate procedures,” the study said. It found that although NASA made progress over the past six decades, repatriation was often difficult for the organization because of its doubts about ownership and adequate records management.

Due to poor NASA records, the agency lost a bag used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect moonstones samples, the study found. A small, white bag sold at the Sotheby auction for $ 1.8 million in 2017. A few years ago, the prototype of the Lunar Roving Vehicle was spotted by a tipster at a residence in Alabama. The owner of the scrap-yard ended up selling it at auction for an undisclosed amount.

“NASA has a long history of not keeping track of and controlling its space objects,” said Mark Zaid, an attorney for RR Auction who also owns historical monuments, including a piece of string used to hang former President James Garfield’s assassin.

“We were not surprised when we finally heard from NASA,” Zaid said. “But they do not get along very well. We can never know what will come to mind and what will not. ”

The story of the cockroach test begins on July 20, 1969, when two members of the Apollo 11 team – Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – become the first humans to walk on the moon. Through their epic workload, they collected up to 80 pounds (47 kg) of cuneiform objects to bring back to the Earth for study.

NASA was concerned about whether the moon’s moon could be a threat to life on Earth. So it fed 10 “undergrowth” animals, including fish and insects, for 28 days and asked researchers from all over the country to evaluate the results, reports Science magazine in 1970.

A few German cockroaches that had been eaten for a month ended up in the laboratory of Marion Brooks, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota. He found no evidence that the moon’s dust was toxic to cockroaches, according to an article in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis as of Oct. 6, 1969.

At the end of the study, the professor returned the cockroaches and their larvae to their home, where they kept them until his death in 2007.

In 2010, his daughter, Virginia Brooks, sold building materials. He said in a Friday interview that he did not remember the price they had sold, but it was not close to $ 40,000. It is not clear if the person from whom you bought the goods is the one who put the goods on RR Auction. The auction house keeps the seller’s name confidential.

Zaid said NASA’s concern was “enough” for the company to launch an auction. He said RR Auction had informed the owner of the dispute and would like him and the space agency to “see” it.

“The government has a problem with legal authorization in this case because at the moment it will not be able to issue any documents regulating the practice of providing cockroaches to doctors and the University of Minnesota,” he said.

In addition, Livingston said, the moon’s objects were “intentionally destroyed” while NASA fed cockroaches. “It was the cockroaches, not the dust of the moon, that was given to Drs. Marion Brooks, ”he said.

On Friday, Virginia Brooks sought a contract to manage the study but could not get one.

He went to his basement and opened a fireplace that contained the test files. There was a poster NASA had given to his mother, a few newspaper clippings about the experiment and NASA paying a total of $ 100 which was his mother’s.

Brooks said he had no regrets about the money he earned from researching. He thought it was a good deal at the time. Besides, he said, “it was just cockroaches.”

This article first appeared in the New York Times.


I am Sanjit Gupta. I have completed my BMS then MMS both in marketing. I even did a diploma in computer software and Digital Marketing.

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